Burkina Faso women weave fashion accessories to develop a craft for income generation

Supporting the activities of a social and supportive company that provides training for women to help them design and make fashion accessories and manage their business.

 

“The Veolia Foundation is supporting PagaBags in changing its status from that of a ‘development project’ to that of a ‘Social and Solidarity Company’ that is financially viable.”
Boris Efremenko

Strategic Development Initiatives (SDI) is a solidarity and international cooperation NGO. It initiates, accompanies, and implements field projects. It carries out diagnoses and studies, organises and designs training and educational tools. It contributes to information and exchange networks on cooperation, the economy, the environment, and international solidarity. IDS is a social catalyst: it facilitates meetings, cooperation, and alliances in the implementation of anti-poverty programmes and the creation of income-generating activities involving the participation of all local economy stakeholders.
 
Loincloths made out of plastic from municipal waste
In 2011, SDI found an association that manufactures loincloths from recovered plastic bags in Bobo Dioulasso, western Burkina Faso.  In Ouagadougou, where it has been working for several years in household waste management, the NGO wanted to transpose this recycling experiment. The ambition is to organise cooperation between garbage collectors, weavers, seamstresses, and local craftsmen who create fabrics from recovered plastics.

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

  • Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

    Women weaving fashion accessories from recycled plastic

This project was launched in 2012. Specifically, women, who were already providing some of the garbage collection without sufficient income, began to work on plastic. They make recycled bags and jewellery from it. The creations are unique and come from a fair and supportive production process with a focus on international marketing.

Training Burkino Faso women in business management

The project's launch year was used to check stakeholder expectations and the technical and economic feasibility of the project by creating the first bag models based on precise specifications. In September 2013, PagaBags, a social and supportive company supporting 'southern' (production) activities in their professionalisation and organising 'northern' (marketing) activities in their business development and visibility, was created. The Foundation's support, granted in 2015, allowed PagaBags to acquire equipment (plastic collection carts, weaving machines, sewing machines) and finance the business management training provided to Burkina Faso women (specifications compliance, order tracking, account management, etc.).

Professionalisation of trades

In 2016, the Foundation's renewed support was used to professionalise the activities of the various stakeholders involved. Training sessions on community and professional life were given, management tools were implemented, and plastic bag cutters were trained in textile weaving. That same year, Pagabags announced the recruitment of a person to oversee the company's communication and prospecting tools.

Change in direction after the prohibition of plastic bags

Today, after a few years of activity, Pagabags has to change its model. In 2015, Burkina Faso banned plastic bags, thereby ending the bags and jewellery making business as practised by the NGO so far. A new strategy has been defined to continue the economic development begun: Pagabags has adopted 100 % cotton weaving and now uses plant dyes. The Veolia Foundation is supporting this change to allow Burkino Faso women to continue working while respecting ecological requirements.